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Lower aluminium prices undermine numbers at Alcan

One of Alcan's Swiss plants Keystone Archive

First quarter net profit at Alcan fell on weaker aluminium prices and a special charge. The company, which comprises Canada's Alcan and Switzerland's Algroup, also warned of sharply weaker demand for aluminium in North America.

This content was published on April 18, 2001 - 10:10

Montreal-based Alcan, now the world's second largest aluminium maker, said it had a net income of $137 million in the first quarter, down from $178 million in the same period last year.

Results also included a $70 million after-tax charge related to the sale of bauxite and alumina operations in Jamaica.

Alcan is in advanced talks to sell its Jamaican operations to Swiss-based commodities group Glencore. It expects to complete the sale soon for a price of around $175 million.

Quarterly sales at Alcan were up 68 per cent at $3.2 billion largely because of the merger that was completed last October. Sales excluding Algroup rose only three per cent.

"As we proceed through the year we expect to see further benefits from our value maximisation programmes," said Travis Engen, Alcan's new president and chief executive.

"However, due to the current economic situation, metal prices in the second quarter may be weaker than in the first quarter," Engen added.

swissinfo with agencies

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